Thursday, September 25, 2014

Velocity XL/RG, N244FM: Accident occurred September 22, 2013 in Pahokee, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items   -   National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA13CA426
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 22, 2013 in Pahokee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/04/2014
Aircraft: MARCONI FRED I JR VELOCITY XL/RG, registration: N244FM
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the experimental amateur-built airplane was performing a simulated forced landing to the airport runway. As the airplane was in the landing flare, another pilot radioed that the accident airplane's landing gear was still retracted. About that time, the aft mounted propeller struck the runway and the pilot increased power in an attempt to abort the landing. The pilot subsequently lost control of the airplane and it impacted terrain to the side of the runway, resulting in serious injuries to the pilot and passenger, and substantial damage to the airframe. Examination of the wreckage following the accident revealed that the landing gear switch was selected to the "UP" position.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to ensure that the landing gear were extended during the simulated forced landing attempt. Contributing to the outcome was the pilot's decision to continue the aborted landing after the propeller had contacted the runway.

WEST PALM BEACH —  A 79-year-old Broward County man has filed a lawsuit seeking to recover damages for “catastrophic injuries” he sustained in a plane crash at an airport in Pahokee last year.

In the lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against the pilot of the plane, Emanuel Lewis claims the crash occurred when the pilot tried to abort a landing after another pilot alerted him that the landing gear of the Velocity XL/RG airplane wasn’t down. When pilot Fred Marconi, a former Aventura dentist, attempted to pull the plane up, its propeller struck the runway at Palm Beach County Glades Airport and it crashed.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the landing gear switch of what it described as an “experimental amateur-built airplane” was in the “up” position at the time of the September 2013 crash.

Attorney Robert Barouth, who represents Marconi, declined the comment on the lawsuit. Marconi was also seriously injured, according to reports.

Attorney Donald Fountain, who represents Lewis, said his client’s medical bills are nearing $1 million. Lewis and Marconi, he said, were friends just out for a pleasure ride when the crash occurred.

Story and Video:


Boeing Agrees to Fire-Suppression Fix on Some 787 Dreamliners • Boeing Will Replace Foam-Like Blocks That Prevent Firefighting Chemicals from Dispersing Too Quickly

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

Sept. 25, 2014 7:44 p.m. ET

Boeing Co. and aviation regulators have agreed on mandatory replacement of certain foamlike blocks inside the structures of more than 80 of the company's 787 Dreamliner jets to ensure fire-suppression systems will work properly in case of an emergency.

A safety directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration this week calls for replacement of missing or misaligned parts, called plugs, to prevent firefighting chemicals from dispersing too quickly in case of a blaze in lower cargo compartments. The agency said faulty or loosened plugs could "result in the inability to extinguish a fire and consequent loss of control of the airplane."

The FAA gives airlines up to one year to do the work. The agency said Boeing initially issued a nonbinding service bulletin in May urging airlines to install the new plugs within two years. But this week's directive indicates that, based on "the degree of urgency" and other considerations, Boeing subsequently agreed to a 12-month compliance deadline and intends to revise its bulletin.

The FAA order applies only to three U.S.-registered aircraft, but foreign regulators are likely to embrace the 12-month timetable.

The moves show Boeing's flagship 787 model, which suffered extensive delays, manufacturing holdups and lithium-battery problems in the past, continue to experience fallout from some previous missteps. According to the FAA, the cause of the plug problem was "determined to be miscalculated pressure exposures during design."

A Boeing spokeswoman said Boeing previously advised operators of 88 early-production aircraft that improperly configured plugs don't present an immediate safety concern due to "redundancies designed into the system and the extremely low likelihood of system activation." The statement also indicated that Boeing supports the FAA's directive and the company has changed the design.

The spokeswoman added that misaligned or missing plugs were the result of unexpected changes to the characteristics of the material over time. The problem was discovered during production testing, according to Boeing.

The effectiveness of fire-suppression systems is an important safety factor for long-range aircraft such as the Boeing Dreamliner, which often flies oceanic or polar routes. Some airlines are currently allowed to fly 787s and certain other Boeing aircraft as far as 5 1/2 hours from the nearest suitable airport in case of an emergency.

The FAA estimated it could take some 30 work hours per plane to complete the fixes, with the overall price tag amounting to roughly $12,000 for a single aircraft. But the agency said Boeing has indicated all of the proposed costs may be covered under warranty.

- Source:

Woman sets fire in Augusta Regional Airport (KAGS) parking lot

An Augusta woman was arrested Thursday after setting a fire in the parking lot of Augusta Regional Airport. 

Linda Bourassa, 56, of the 6600 block of Wrightsboro Road, was charged with third degree arson, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Approximately 11:50 a.m., deputies responded to the airport parking lot where Deputy S. Hammond observed a small fire and then “stomped out the fire with his feet,” according to the report.

The suspect admitted to setting the fire, the report stated, which occurred in a parking lot owned by Enterprise Rental Car.

A description of what was set on fire was not provided.

No injuries were reported.

- Source:

Behind the Lines: Novices fly at Robins Aero Club

As of about a month ago, just about anyone with a pilot's license can do it. People can earn one at the Robins Aero Club.

It's not just the Air Force flying planes out of Robins anymore.

As of about a month ago, just about anyone with a pilot's license can do it. People can earn one at the Robins Aero Club.

13WMAZ went Behind the Lines to meet the instructors putting people from outside the base gates, inside the pilot's seat.

Skip Piper runs the Aero Club. His is the voice on the end of the line, when potential pilots call for information.

The place, located near the flight line, feels a lot like the name states: A club, one that brews coffee instead of beer.

Piper said, "You have membership camaraderie."

Last month, it's exclusive requirements to join vastly expanded. Piper said, "We just got the approval to open the base up to civilians."

By civilians, he means the general public. They can apply for special permission to get on the base, and earn a pilot's license.
Piper said, "That's a very big deal."

From the mid-1960's until now, the club's doors opened only to folks with base access.

They now welcome outsiders like Walt Alexander. He's an air traffic controller at the Macon-Bibb airport.

Alexander completed seven weeks of ground school classes at the club.

With no prior experience, he's now logging hours in the cockpit.

55-year-old Alexander said, "This was on the bucket list of things to do."

Hugh Holloway, a flight instructor since '69, warned him: Aviation's a high. Holloway said, "Flying is like taking dope. If you get started and want to quit, you gotta get detoxed."

Holloway started coaching Alexander from his first flight.

Alexander said, "When the wheels came up for the first time, I was like, its now or never."

They pair have made about a dozen journeys into the sky together. Holloway said, "It's a lot of people's dreams to be flying."

After another dozen take-offs or so, Alexander will go the controls without Holloway by his side.

Alexander said, "In this game, there is no fudging the rules."

Mistakes in the sky clearly matter, but with the right teacher, he said, "Anybody can do it."

It's like Piper says, "Flying an airplane is easier than driving a car."

Then again, he is the one standing on the ground. Piper said, "Do I fly? No, I don't."

Piper prefers managing the club and maintaining the planes. He keeps the pilots, professional and novice, soaring above the base.

Getting a private pilot's license will cost about $6,000 at Robins Aero Club.

It takes most people about a year to get through the program, and pass the Federal Aviation Administration tests.

- Source:

New hangar planned at Grimes Field Airport (I74), Urbana, Ohio

URBANA —   Grimes Field will get a new hangar and has recently received more than $62,300 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for taxiway repair.

The Urbana City Council passed the ground lease resolution for the new hangar unanimously Tuesday night. Friesian will develop the new hangar, which will be placed south of the airport’s main hangar.

The city will receive an annual fee of 25 cents per square foot from the lease. Urbana Director of Administration Kerry Brugger expects the lot being leased to be around 19,500 square feet, although the final square footage is still being finalized.

Construction is expected to begin soon and finish before the end of the year.

“We need all the hangars we can get,” Airport Manager Carol Hall said. “We need T-hangars badly, but anybody building a hangar helps because it sells fuel, it sells food in the restaurant. It helps everybody.”

The federal dollars the city recently received for taxiway work also covered the repairs of runway 02/20, which totaled nearly $180,000 and were done last year.

The Grimes Field airport participates in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program. The program provides grants to public and private companies for airport improvements, according to the FAA website.

The city receives money each year from the FAA for improvements, but the costs for the runway repairs exceeded that amount.

“We had some additional costs, additional crack repair and things we hadn’t anticipated as far as quantities when we did the runway, so the city fronted that money and this grant that we just received allowed the city the eligible reimbursement back on the work that’s essentially already been done and paid for,” said Doug Crabill, city community development manager.

Crabill said the repairs mainly consisted of repairing the pavement of the runway, to prevent redoing the entire asphalt in the future.

“Without receiving the federal dollars, we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the projects we need to keep the airport in functional shape,” he said.

Urbana Mayor Bill Bean said the economic impact of the improvements should be significant.

“That’s going to mean more fuel, sales and hopefully more traffic coming into the airport,” he said.

Bean added that the city is slowly trying to improve the airport.

Brugger agreed that the city’s vision for growth is being realized.

“It’s happening,” he said. “We’re going to keep picking at it.”

- Source:

Human error likely the reason for planes not landing at Wilmington International Airport (KILM), North Carolina


Human error was likely the reason two flights could not land in Wilmington Wednesday night, according to ILM Airport Operations Director Gary Broughton.

Broughton explained that construction is being done on one of the ILM Airport runways. He said for that reason, navigational aids on the runways were scheduled to be shut off at 12:15 am Thursday morning.

Broughton said navigational aids are instrument landing system lights that allow the pilots to see the airport runways. He said the airlines require the aids be used for plane landings. He elaborated that the airport turns them off so that pilots do not try to land on a runway under construction.

Broughton said it seemed that due to human error from within the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the navigational aids were shut off at 11:15 pm Wednesday instead of 12:15 am Thursday.

Broughton said two planes tried to land after 11:15 pm, a US Airways flight from Charlotte and a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta. Broughton said the planes could not land because navigational aids had been turned off.

He said fog probably played a part in the situation, but the main reason the planes did not land was because the navigational aids had been turned off.

Broughton explained that the airports air traffic control tower is closed from 11 pm to 6 am. He said this has been the airport's standard practice. He said the FAA at the Washington Center in Washington D.C. controls the air space when the tower is closed.

Broughton said he believes this is an isolated incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration made the following statement in response to what happened:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  is investigating why the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) on Runway 6/24 at Wilmington Intl. Airport were turned off one hour earlier than scheduled last night.  The FAA planned to deactivate both ILS at 12:15 am for runway construction, they were disabled at 11:15 pm.  Two air carrier flights that were scheduled to land during that hour returned to their departure airports.   ILSs are installed at both ends of the runway, they enable aircraft to land when visibility is low. 

- Source:

'No significant' turbulence on AI Delhi-Shanghai flight: DGCA

NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator DGCA has found "no significant" turbulence on Air India's Delhi-Shanghai flight earlier this month, as alleged by an air hostess, and has asked the entire crew to record their statements before it on Monday. 

One of the cabin crew members on flight AI-348, flying on Delhi-Shanghai route on September 7, had alleged in a complaint that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had experienced a severe bout of turbulence on its way to the eastern Chinese city, resulting in some passengers and crew members being thrown about and receiving injuries.

In the complaint filed several days after the incident, the air hostess had also alleged that the commander of the plane had "threatened us against any of us opening our mouth about the incident".

DGCA sources said they had "inspected and evaluated the recordings" of the Digital Flight Data Recorder ( DFDR) of the aircraft and found "no significant G-value" (which measures changes in gravitational pull), establishing that there was no "severe air turbulence" as was claimed by the cabin crew.

There were also no injuries to any passenger or cabin crew member on board the flight as was alleged by her, the sources said.

While the statement of the commander of the flight has already been recorded, all other crew members have been asked to appear before the DGCA on Monday to record their statements on whether such an incident had really happened, they said.

Earlier, an Air India spokesperson had said there was no enquiry into the incident as no such report was filed. He also termed the cabin crew's claims as "mischievous and malicious" and said, "We always take reports on safety of passengers and aircraft very seriously and act on them."


Council OKs airport–related items: Warren Field (KOCW), Washington, North Carolina

Renters of multiple T-hangars at the city-owned Warren Field Airport can receive a “volume discount” now that Washington’s City Council has modified the rental rates for T-hangars.

Under the new rate schedule, approved by the council at its meeting Monday, one T-hangar will rent for $2,540 a year. If the same entity rents two T-hangars, the annual rent for the second T-hangar will be $2,159. If the same entity rents a third T-hangar (or more), the yearly rent for third (or more) T-hangar will be $1,905.

The city’s Airport Advisory Board heard a request from Richard Karanian for a quantitative discount for entities renting more than one T-hangar at the airport. Karanian, who rents two T-hangars, wanted to rent a third T-hangar if he could receive a reduced rate for renting multiple hangars.

“After discussing several alternatives, the Airport Advisory Board unanimously voted to allow for a 15% discount on renting a second t-hangar and a 25% discount for anyone renting a third or more T-hangar,” reads a memorandum from Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, to the mayor and council members.

City Manager Brian Alligood said the discounted rental rates would make Warren Field Airport more competitive with similar airports in the area.

In another airport-related action, the council amended the city’s budget by allocating $11,213 so it can complete the pavement rehabilitation project at the airport. The city appropriated $1,120 from its balance to go with $10,093 in grant funds to complete the project.

- Source:

New Jersey: With a new runway in Ocean County, the sky’s the limit

BERKELEY – The first new runway built in New Jersey in more than 30 years is open to air traffic.

Crosswind runway 14-32 at Ocean County Airport in Robert J. Miller Airpark has actually been operational for several months, but county and Federal Aviation Administration officials celebrated the political and engineering triumph at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

At 3,400 feet in length and 75 feet in width, the auxiliary runway is shorter than the main 6,000-foot runway, and is to be used when the wind is blowing perpendicular to the original. Before the crosswind runway was built, pilots had to contend with gusts that has caused smaller airplanes to crash while on approach.

This was especially difficult in the winter months when the prevailing northwest winds threatened the small, fixed-wing general aviation aircraft, explained Lori K. Pagnanelli, manager for the FAA at the Harrisburg Airports District Office in Pennsylvania, which has federal oversight authority of Ocean County Airport.

In remarks at the ceremony Thursday, in which Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy were among the invited guests, Pagnanelli declared that the new runway met all FAA standards for small, general aviation aircraft. In recent years, the airport has also seen its share of corporate jets coming and going.

For years, environmental activists have long opposed the new runway on grounds that any further major development in the Pinelands Preservation Area of this scope was unacceptable.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari pointed out that a crosswind runway had been originally planned and the land cleared, when the airport originally opened in 1968 but that the second runway was nixed after construction of the 420-acre airpark ran over budget.

The additional runway, parallel taxiway and upgraded safety features at the airport required by the FAA have come at a cost of $8.2 million, about 90 percent of which was funded by the federal government. The state Department of Transportation and the county government covered the rest of the cost.

“In 30 years, the state of New Jersey has lost 14 airports,” Vicari said. “What’s happened is that the airports — they’re dying all over the place.”

Vicari said modernizing this airport over the years has been important to the county government in an effort to maintain safety and the county’s homeland security, and to attract economic development.

“One thing, is because of economic development. It’s very important. When a corporation wants to locate some place, they need an airport for executives to go in and out — whether it be a (fixed wing) aircraft or whether it be a helicopter, whatever the case may be.”

The freeholder said the airport was used as a staging area during superstorm Sandy and would be an essential base of operations in the event of another disaster at the Jersey Shore, such as a major forest fire in the Pine Barrens.

“We use it every day, especially in the summer time when our population goes from 580,000 to 600,000,” Vicari said.

Mike Maino, a spokesman for Ocean Air Support Squadron, which provides air search and surveillance services to the Ocean County Sheriff's Department and its Office of Emergency Management, said in public remarks Thursday that the absence of a crosswind runway at the airport had been a “cocktail for disaster.”

“Flying a small aircraft in the winter time with gusty winds or in the summer when you have a high-density altitude is very difficult for a general aviation pilot,” Maino said. “(Today with the new runway) in the middle of Barnegat Bay, on our flights coming in, you can see ‘3-2’ looking at you, it’s just a beautiful thing.”


Runway 06-24 and Helipad

This is the main runway at Ocean County Airport, which was built in 1968. This runway is 5,950 feet in length and 100 in width. This runway is certified to accommodate aircraft weighing up to 100,000 pounds per wheel load bearing and thus can serve all general aviation aircraft and corporate jets. In the event of an emergency, the airport can also handle commercial airliners and military transports.

Runway 14-32

The new crosswind runway is 3,600 feet in length and 75 feet in width. This runway is specifically designed to accommodate smaller, lighter aircraft that are more susceptible to the effects of wind gusts blowing perpendicular to the main runway, which can cause these airplanes to crash.

Source: Ocean County Airport (MJX)

- Source:

Tough times for ahead regional airlines like Qantas and Rex

Armidale is being reminded not the take the presence of two airlines for granted after Regional Express announced reducing services to the North Coast.

This week REX slashed several marginal routes, which included reducing or dropping services, in Taree, Grafton, Lismore and Newcastle.

While the cuts don’t affect the Armidale service, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall wanted to “jolt the public” into supporting both airlines.

“It is a sobering reminder it is a very tough climate,” Mr Marshall said yesterday.

He said regional airlines Brindabella and Vincent Aviation “had gone belly-up” and to ensure competition remained in the city’s airport, people would have to support the airlines.

“We are bloody lucky,” Mr Marshall said, “Flights are just over $100 now so it is a lot cheaper.”

He said the only way flights could remain cheap was to keep up the strong competition between the airlines.

Passengers going through the airport had increased by 18 percent since REX commenced services.

Mr Marshall said his conversations with QantasLink revealed its service was going strong while REX was also in a good position.

“I am in regular contact with the management of both airlines and while REX in particular has seen a healthy level of patronage, for the longer term it’s important the numbers stack up commercially,” Mr Marshall said.

He said he uses both carriers for his frequent trips to Sydney and hoped others would give both services a try.

- Source:

Guilty Plea in Grand Prismatic Drone Accident

A tourist from the Netherlands who created a Grand Prismatic drone accident the afternoon of August 2 has pleaded guilty to violating the Yellowstone National Park ban on operating an unmanned aircraft.

According to the National Park Service, Theodorus Van Vliet entered a guilty plea to violating the park ban against operating an unmanned aircraft in court proceedings Tuesday. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay over $2,200 in restitution. NPS officials have been unable to confirm the location of the unmanned aircraft, which remains somewhere on the floor of the iconic hot spring.

This is the second successful prosecution arising from a violation of the ban on use of unmanned aircraft in Yellowstone, an activity which is prohibited nationwide on all lands and waters administered by the National Park System.

Earlier this month, Andreas Meissner of Germany was sentenced to a one-year ban from the park, was placed on one year of unsupervised probation, and was ordered to pay over $1,600 in fines and restitution in return for a guilty plea in connection with operating an unmanned aircraft that crashed into Yellowstone Lake near the West Thumb Marina on July 18.

A third case is pending. Donald Criswell of Molalla, Oregon, has been charged with violating the ban after he flew his unmanned aircraft over the crowded Midway Geyser Basin and close to bison on August 19.  His case is scheduled to be heard in federal court in Mammoth Hot Springs in October.

Remember: there are the ones that got caught. This summer saw a raft of folks using GoPro-equipped drones to film Yellowstone National Park.


Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (KOTH) celebrated two recent upgrades Tuesday night

Prior to Tuesday’s ribbon cutting, a crowd casts shadows over the schematic drawing of the recently unveiled 30,000-square-foot hangar building at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend. The Coos County Airport District will now ramp up efforts to find a paying customer, or customers, to utilize the structure. 
 By Tim Novotny, The World

NORTH BEND — When dignitaries gathered at Southwest Oregon Regional Airport on Tuesday night, the only thing missing was the shades. Because, for those involved in the latest upgrades, the future hasn’t looked this bright in quite a while.

The airport makeover included a 30,000-square-foot hangar, an additional 85,000 square feet of space in front of the hangar, and office space.

The project, which originally included the demolition of the old World War II-era hangar that sat on the same site, included a grant of more than $2 million from Connect Oregon.

But, Murphy’s Law being what it is, the project ended up getting delayed after the old hangar caught fire during its demolition in December of 2012. The blaze caused some breaks in construction as insurance payments needed to be sorted out among a number of companies.

So, the prevailing emotions this week were relief and optimism.

“I think that is kind of our attitude,” said Helen Brunell Mineau, one of the Coos County Airport District commissioners. She explained that the relief is from the project being finished, but they now have a great opportunity lying before them to help benefit the local economy.

“It’s $2.2 million worth of an investment,” she said, referring to the grant funding. “We are now celebrating the fact that we have a brand new hangar that you could put a 737 in. We are kind of excited about that, the possibilities of somebody locating a plane here, leaving it here, having it based here, would be fabulous. It would be a boost to our economy. And we see that as a continuation of all the things we’ve worked on here at the airport for: economic development, improve the economy and continue to have service at the airport.”

The hangar is actually not only designed to suit a Boeing business jet, similar in size to a 737, but it could also hold four other smaller jets, or any similarly sized variation of airplanes.

Airport Executive Director Theresa Cook said earlier this year that the concept was to be able to attract the larger commercial aircraft for overnight stays. Adding that the building could also end up housing a group that manages the hangar for owners of corporate jets, an air ambulance company, or some other form of corporate entity.

Making it happen

The project required a team effort to make it happen, but U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, was basically the straw that stirred the drink.

“It really does take everybody to make it work, and DeFazio’s office has repeatedly backed any rural air service grants,” Brunell Mineau said. “He’s been very helpful in getting those. For years we still had weather observers still based here that were paid for by the federal government that nobody else in the country had, and that was because of Peter DeFazio doing his job and backing us and making sure we got the job done.”

The congressman said he has repeatedly gone to bat for the airport because he understands that the benefits to the South Coast can lead to benefits throughout the state.

“Look, we don’t do well as a state if all the economic growth is in Portland, or Portland and Eugene and somewhere else. We need to support robust economic growth everywhere in this state,” DeFazio said Tuesday. “The South Coast has been waiting for a long time and I think we are on the cusp of big things. Having an airport for both the commercial and the GA (general aviation) access is really critical to either economic development as it relates to tourism, or as it relates to recruiting companies to come in here. Because they are going to want to fly their execs, or teams, in and out and this is key.”

State Sen. Arnie Roblan sees the same enticing possibilities with the new hangar, and other airport improvements, taking flight.

“We know that, because we are out here on the coast, we’ve got to have roads, and we’ve got to have the rail, and we have to have an airport,” Roblan said. “It is that combination of things that continues to make us believe that the potential is there to do some other things in this area and bring back family wage jobs. It’s just one more thing that shows the rest of the world that we are ready for business.”

Time is right

Russ Batzer, of Batzer Construction, says it seems to be a case of perfect timing for the airport. As money from outside of the state is looking to keep a variety of jets in Oregon, where the aviation environment is more financially friendly, spaces are starting to get snapped up.

“All over the state of Oregon hangars are being built,” he said. “This has been the biggest year for our company. (As for this project) everything went as planned. It’s a pretty cool building.”

Not to be lost in the hoopla, another pretty cool building was being shown off Tuesday.

The celebration actually began with Dale Sause, of Coos Aviation, unveiling his company’s new building, located inside the old North Bend Airport terminal.

Architect Rich Turi says the trick with that project was figuring out how to divide up the much larger space in the company’s new, old, building.

“So you create a space that was still cozy, didn’t seem vast and way too big, and I think it turned out just right,” he said. “It feels warm and cozy. I’m pleased and my client, Dale Sause, he’s pleased.”

Soon, the hope is that the whole community will be universally pleased with the reimagined look of the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, and that it will also look better to potential future business interests that may be transiting in and out of the community already.

“Our hope is that if just a couple of those major executives, who come (for Bandon Dunes) and fly in, decide maybe we should move our company here, it could make a big difference for our community,” added Roblan.

DeFazio said a brighter future has to start with optimal transportation links.

“Absolutely, that’s the bottom line,” he concluded. “In an area like the coast of Oregon, great transportation links are everything. Whether it is good highway, and we’ve improved the highways dramatically over to the valley side over the years, or its aviation or rail or the port itself. We need everything and it needs to be in good working order and then they will come. We will have the recruitment that we want, we will have the economic development that we want.”

- Source:

Pilot Larry Kelley takes Wings & Wheels into the wild blue yonder October 3-5 • Sussex County Airport (KGED), Georgetown, Delaware

Pilot Larry Kelley is shown with his World War II-era B-25 bomber called Panchito. He will offer rides at Wings & Wheels Saturday, Oct. 4. 
 Photo by: Jack Hoban

Larry Kelley remembers his first solo airplane flight. He was 14 and flying his uncle’s World War II vintage airplane in southern Alabama.

“I remember he told me not to break the airplane,” said Kelley of his first of many flights from his uncle’s private runway.

More than 50 years later, Kelley remains fascinated with WW II vintage planes, and he shares his passion and knowledge with thousands of people each year as organizer of the Wings segment of the Wings & Wheels festival, which will run Oct. 3-5 at the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown. The main festival events will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 4.

Kelley has held the volunteer role since the festival’s inception in 2008. Unknowingly, he has also helped Georgetown evolve as a hub for historical aviation buffs.

This year’s festival will feature vintage WW II airplanes, including Kelley’s B-25 bomber named Panchito; a living history exhibit with WW II re-enactors and equipment; performances by the U.S. Naval Academy parachute team; a flour bombing competition; plane rides around central Sussex County; an Aviation Education Expo aimed at introducing high school students to the array of opportunities in the aviation industry;  and a Living History program starring Lt. Col. Dick Cole, one of the last four survivors of the Doolittle Raiders, and local veteran heroes.

Kelley is proud that admission to the festival is free. He said, “Where else can you go to actually see and hear the planes that won World War II, hear the roar of the plane, smell the jet fuel ... without spending a lot of money?”

He hopes the festival sparks in other children a love for planes, such as he experienced.

A lifelong love affair

At the age of 9, Kelley had the privilege of hanging out in his uncle’s airplane mechanic shop. His uncle restored World War II aircraft, and young Kelley learned about repairing engines, reading instruments and doing airplane body work.

This led to his initial flight and many others into his teens. But his love of flying had to wait until after he built and sold a thriving medical services business. Only then was he free to pursue his passion for airplanes full time.

Today, he attends 20-25 air shows and fly-ins per year. In addition, he has flown over some of America’s biggest sporting events: The Super Bowl, The Preakness and The Indy 500, among others. His traveling shows pay for all the expenses he needs to keep his planes in pristine shape.

“A lot of these events want to include some nostalgia. That’s when we get the call,” he said.

But all his fly-overs and air shows aside, Kelley’s proudest moment was his involvement with the 70th anniversary of the flight of the Doolittle Raiders, a group of U.S. pilots who bombed Japan in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was the biggest gathering of B-25 bombers since WW II. Also at the event was Lt. Dick Cole, who was Doolittle’s copilot in the raid. Cole, now 99, will attend the Wings & Wheels Living History Program.

Preserving history

Exposing the public to WW II stories and artifacts is at the heart of what Kelley and Wings & Wheels do. For history buffs who are enthralled with old war wings, the Georgetown airport also features artifacts, memorabilia and more than 3,000 aviation-related books. The Delaware Aviation Museum in Georgetown holds the Jeffrey L. Ethell Memorial Aviation Library, the largest aviation library in the east.

“Many people in the area don’t even know we’re here,” Kelley said.

Kelley also spent a lot of time at the airport with his own B-25 bomber, Panchito, named after the feisty Mexican rooster from the 1945 Disney animated musical, “The Three Caballeros.” Panchito handled the last combat mission flown Aug. 12, 1945, against Kanoya Airfield, Kyushu. The B-25 bomber will be present at Wings & Wheels.

“Those of us who are honored to own and fly these unique aircraft are only temporary custodians of these icons of our military history,” Kelley said. “We owe it to present and future generations to wisely maintain and operate these treasures as living history monuments to those veterans who turned back tyranny ... to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.”


What: Wings & Wheels

Where: Sussex County Airport in Georgetown

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4

How much: Free

Learn more at

- Source:

Throwback Thursday: The day a plane crashed in Fullerton, California • No one died, but the air show disaster, 10 years ago today, left physical and emotional scars

Tony Albanese can’t use his legs. Burn scars cover three-quarters of his body. He lives in constant pain.

“I saved many peoples’ lives making that test flight,” Albanese said. “If I had just left and said, ‘The engine sounds fine,’ that plane would have crashed with 14 people in it.”

Instead Albanese, an airplane mechanic, was the only one permanently injured when a replica Ford Tri-Motor airplane spiraled out of control during an air show 10 years ago today at the Fullerton Municipal Airport. He had worked on the plane’s center engine and told pilot Jay Yoshinaga that he would join him for a “return to service flight.”

The Bushmaster 2000 stood as a proud symbol of classic aviation at the Fullerton airport, a replica of some of the first passenger planes in 1929. Yoshinaga provided sightseeing rides from the airport to the ocean and back for aviation enthusiasts who had paid $50 a seat.

As the airplane started its takeoff roll, it began to veer to the left off of the runway.

About midway down the runway the airplane lifted off the ground and flew over a crowd of people.

It climbed to about 50 feet, made a steep roll to the left, flying between the control tower and a light pole. It crossed over the boundary fence, and the left wing struck a moving vehicle before coming to rest against several parked cars.

Hundreds watched in horror as the plane’s wing sideswiped a car and then burst into flames.

Officials later determined that a rudder tie-down had not been removed, which kept the plane moving to the left.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash was caused by inadequate preflight inspection by the pilot-in-command.

Yoshinaga was thrown from the cockpit and escaped serious injury. Albanese remained strapped into his seat, enveloped by flames. Airport workers ran to the crash scene with fire extinguishers and doused him.

Valerie Akin and her mother, Rebecca Perez, had minimal injuries after the plane clipped the front side of their car.

Bystanders helped Rebecca get away from the car. Valerie’s door jammed shut, so they pulled her to safety through the driver’s side.

The trauma, both physical and mental, has in some way stayed with them.

The Mechanic

Albanese lay in an induced coma at UCI Medical Center for a month, his spine broken and about 75 percent of his body badly burned.

Eight months after the crash he left the hospital, following skin-graft surgeries and a painful rehabilitation. He would eventually undergo more than 11 major surgeries and spend more than two more years in and out of hospitals.

In 2006, Albanese returned for the airport’s annual air show and answered questions about the crash. A year later he went back to the skies flying a special plane called a Sky Arrow. He flew it with the help of another pilot sitting behind him.

Though he settled for $200,000, Albanese, 56, is running out of money and living on disability. His father has taken a reverse mortgage on the family home but Albanese isn’t sure how he can afford to pay it when his parents die.

The Pilot

Yoshinaga wished he had walked away.

He’d arrived at the airport in his own plane. But when he got there, Albanese was working on the Bushmaster’s engine. It wouldn’t start right away and he kept waiting.

“I don’t know why I stuck around,” he said. “I should have just gone home. Many times I was going to leave and they kept convincing me to stay. Something didn’t feel good.”

Yoshinaga, now 55, does his best not to think about the crash. He’s in management at Boeing Co. His parents are elderly, and he’s there to help out. But despite his best efforts, thoughts of the crash seep into his mind.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and wondering what I was doing there,” he said.

Yoshinaga, then a mechanical engineer at Boeing, didn’t know what day or month it was when he woke up. He had a fractured vertebra, significant burns and his front teeth were smashed. He was hospitalized for more than a month. All he thought about was going back to his job and getting back to normal life.

“I wanted to make sure I was still functioning,” he said.

He went back to work and went through out-patient rehabilitation. Over time he improved physically. Emotionally, he was spent. For the next two years he would be in court facing lawsuits.

“It was very stressful and worse than the physical trauma,” he said. “I felt like I had no control. I had zero memory of what happened. ... I’ll never say I wasn’t responsible, but I wish I had made a different decision.”

The Women in the Car
Perez and Akinhave moved to Northern California. Both women are nervous about flying and still vividly remember the day of the crash.

Akin remembered seeing a giant propeller and the body of the plane engulfed in flames a few feet in front of their car. That evening, she watched the news from home because some part of her still wasn’t convinced that it all had really happened.

“It finally became clear that this event was a miracle, because everyone involved survived,” Akin said. “I know how lucky I am, especially when I learned that Tony Albanese wasn’t so lucky and is now paraplegic from the crash. I haven't met Tony but talked with him over the phone. He had such a positive spirit and he was just happy to be alive himself. It really humbled me and put everything into perspective. My car ended up being like a pillow for the Bushmaster plane. Had my car not been there at that moment, the plane would have impacted on pavement and Tony would not be alive.”

Perez, now 66, often thinks of the crash and ducks even if a bird flies overhead.

“It took me at least seven years to even get on a plane,” she said. “I get a bit on edge but I keep myself occupied and try to not think that I am on a plane. I am very grateful to everyone that came to our rescue that day and that there were no fatalities.”

Akin, 41, is married and has a 6-year-old son. She doesn’t fly commercial alone and sometimes has panic attacks.

“The car I drive must have a sunroof so that I can look up if need be and whenever I hear a plane I often look for it,” she said. “I don’t take my life for granted. I am closer with my friends and loved ones. Whenever I hear that song by Tim McGraw ‘Live Like You Were Dying,’ I cannot help but smile because I do know how precious life is and how it is a miracle I walked away from that fateful day on Sept. 25, 2004.”

Did you know?

The land that the Fullerton Municipal Airport is on was first used for flying in 1913 while it was still a pig farm. Barnstormers and crop dusters used parts of it as a makeshift airstrip. It was later a sewer farm. In 1927, William and Robert Dowling, with the aid of H. A. Krause and the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, petitioned the City Council to turn the abandoned sewer farm into a landing field.

The Fullerton City Council approved an ordinance in 1927 making it an airport. The council leased the land to the chamber for five years, at a fee of $1 per year. Fullerton took control of it in January 1941.

Today the airport is 86 acres and accommodates 600 planes.

Source: City of Fullerton

Story and Photo:


NTSB Identification: LAX04FA330.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, September 25, 2004 in Fullerton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/2006
Aircraft: Bushmaster Aircraft 2000, registration: N750RW
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane crashed onto a street adjacent to the airport shortly after takeoff. As the airplane started its takeoff roll, it began to veer to the left off of the runway. About midway down the runway the airplane lifted off the ground and flew over a crowd of people assembled at the airport for an airport appreciation day. The airplane climbed to about 50 feet, made a steep roll to the left, flying in-between the control tower and a light pole, and crossed over the boundary fence where the left wing struck a moving vehicle before coming to rest against several parked cars. Numerous photographs (including video footage) were taken by witnesses on the airport of the airplane on the takeoff ground roll and throughout the accident sequence. The photographs clearly show a nylon strap connecting the left elevator and rudder. It was surmised that the use of the nylon strap was as a flight control/gust lock for the airplane. During the investigation, a nylon strap was observed hanging from an S-hook that was attached to the vertical stabilizer/rudder hinge attach point. The loop at the other end of the strap had come apart, and when investigators looked under the left stabilizer/elevator hinge attach area they noted a similar S-hook attached to the hinge attach area.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
the inadequate preflight inspection by the pilot-in-command, where the pilot failed to remove the makeshift gust lock attached to the rudder and left elevator of the airplane. As a result, the airplane veered off the runway surface during the takeoff roll, became airborne, and immediately began an uncontrolled descending left roll until impacting vehicles and the ground.


On September 25, 2004, at 1323 Pacific daylight time, a tri-motor Bushmaster Aircraft 2000, N750RW, impacted the ground during the takeoff initial climb from runway 24 at Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL), Fullerton, California, and struck a car on an adjacent street. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed. The commercial pilot and the private pilot rated passenger sustained serious injuries. The two people in the car sustained minor injuries from the deployment of their airbags. The local area flight departed at 1522. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The accident occurred during the Fullerton Airport Appreciation Day. A spectator at the airport videotaped the accident sequence, and provided the footage to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC). In addition to the videotape, spectators at the airport submitted numerous photographs. One such photograph, enhanced by the Safety Board vehicle recorders specialist, clearly showed a strap connecting the left elevator to the rudder. 

According to witnesses, as soon as the airplane began its takeoff roll, it started to veer to the left of the runway. The airplane departed the runway, went into the grass area that separated the runway from the taxiway, struck a runway light, and crossed over to the taxiway. The airplane rolled towards a crowd surrounding parked airplanes on the ramp prior to lifting off the ground. Witnesses said that the airplane continued in a left turn and went between the air traffic control tower and a light pole, and crashed. Witnesses reported that the airplane was about 50 to 100 feet above the ground, and the wings were 90 degrees to the ground, when it passed between the air traffic control tower and the light pole. 

Witnesses further reported that they did not hear anything abnormal with the engines when the airplane powered up for takeoff or at any point during the accident sequence. One witness reported that prior to the airplane impacting the ground he thought he heard an engine, or all of the engines power back.

Air traffic control personnel indicated that they issued a takeoff clearance for the pilot and after takeoff there were no further communications. 


Flying Pilot

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane.

The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on September 24, 2003. It had the limitation that the pilot must wear corrective lenses.

The pilot had a total flight time of 3,700 hours. He logged 31 hours in the last 90 days, and 12 in the last 30 days. He had an estimated 54 hours in the accident make and model. He completed a flight review on June 18, 2003, in the accident make and model, which he also held a type rating for. 

Non-Flying Pilot/Mechanic

The passenger was a certificated private pilot, with a rating for airplane single engine land. He reported about 1,000 hours of flight time, none of which was in the accident make and model. 

The private pilot also held an airframe and power plant mechanic certificate, with a Federal Aviation Administration inspection authorization. 


The airplane was a tri-motor Bushmaster Aircraft 2000, serial number 2. A review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that the airplane had a total airframe time of 1,420 hours at the last annual inspection, which was completed on March 1, 2004; there were no engine times recorded during the inspection. The tachometer for the number 1, 2, and 3 engines read 588.1, 479.1, and, 588.1, respectively, at the last 100-hour inspection dated February 29, 2004. 


The closest official weather observation station was Fullerton (FUL), located at the accident site. An aviation routine weather report (METAR) for FUL was issued at 1253. It stated: winds from 230 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 7 statute miles; skies clear; temperature 30 degrees Celsius; dew point 17 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.88 inches of Mercury.


Investigators from the Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the wreckage at the accident scene. The airplane came to rest in an industrial section of Fullerton about 300 feet south of the airport on Commonwealth Avenue on a magnetic heading of 360 degrees. The first identified point of contact was a concrete divider that separated Commonwealth Avenue and a frontage road. On the north facing side of the concrete divider was a scrape mark with paint transfer. Adjacent to the concrete divider was a green electrical box that had a piece of airplane metal embedded in it. A road sign in the same area showed evidence of a clean cut, which is indicative of a propeller strike. 

About 5 feet from the concrete divider was the car that was struck by the airplane. Approximately 12 feet of the outboard section of the left wing was embedded in the front end of the car. The airplane, with the exception of the outboard section of the left wing, remained intact and came to rest about 20 feet from the car. Propeller marks were found in the road between the car and the airplane's final resting point. All of the engines' propellers exhibited signs of S-bending, leading and trailing edge gouging, and chordwise scratches. 

While photographing the area, a Safety Board investigator observed a nylon tie down strap hanging from the vertical stabilizer/rudder hinge attach point. When examined, the IIC noted an S-hook at the hinge attach point. The other end of the nylon strap had been folded over and stitched together to make a loop. The IIC noted that the stitching had been pulled apart and there was no S-hook attached to it. The IIC examined the underneath portion of the left horizontal stabilizer/elevator area, and found an S-hook at the hinge attach point. 


The Safety Board IIC released the wreckage to the owner's representative on February 5, 2005.

Pilots, crews take to skies for fire fight • Retardant powerful tool against blaze

SACRAMENTO – The Doors play over a radio somewhere in the pit crew’s sun tent as meandering orange stains streak across the hot tarmac.

Below the bright orange belly of the DC-10 air tanker at McClellan Air Force Base, crews work to wash off the residue from the latest run of retardant drops over the King Fire.

Heavy hoses on rollers sit nearby, waiting to fill the planes with a proprietary mixture of fire retardant – 90 percent water, 10 percent ammonia phosphate and other ingredients.

The chemical mixture is specially designed to slow fires enough for grounds crews to attack when it is dropped on, or ahead of flames.

Today is a slower day for the pilots and their respective planes, but everyone seems spring-loaded, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

For Gerrel “Doc” Storrude and Tom Dux, a flight mechanic and co-pilot with Montana-based Neptune Aviation, a dispatch call would have them in the air and fire-bound in less than 15 minutes.

The two sit in lawn chairs – jump bags packed, flight suits hanging near the open door of their converted British passenger plane.

Dux casually explains that the plane takes less than eight minutes to fill the 3,000-gallon tank dominating the area where some 80 passenger seats used to be.

Neither Dux or Storrude learned to fly with the military; they are both civilian contractors.

In a nearby stall, another drop plane sits awaiting action. It’s a C-130 flown by retired U.S. military airman, Jerry Champlin.

“I’m not sure what’s wrong with us,” he joked with another retiree who couldn’t stay retired.

The utilitarian aircraft looks low-tech, but behind its aluminum skin sits a finely-tuned drop system capable of surgical retardant drops.

Champlin said a full tank can weigh more than 34,000 pounds and can be dropped precisely where it is needed through the use of hydraulic doors below the plane.

The air base is the perfect backdrop for the specialized, paramilitary operation.

Rob Wheatley, air tanker base manager for Cal Fire, said smoke is the biggest issue flight crews face with large scale fires, like the King.

“Smoke has been an issue,” Wheatley said. “When you’re flying at 250 feet, it’s like driving in fog.”

Jason Ortiz, with Cal Fire, coordinates the ground operations for up to nine planes at a time – organizing them into stalls by size and getting them the fuel and retardant they need to make another run.

“It’s like playing chess,” Ortiz said.

The whole operation takes coordination and constant communication, not just on the base, but with ground crews on the fire as well.

Planes fly as low as 250 feet elevation over fire lines and can drop as much as several thousand gallons at a time.

Champlin said the force can easily turn over cars and cause injuries on the ground.

Ortiz jokes, “I have been painted before.”

To date, the planes flying out of McClellan have dropped more than 650,000 gallons on the King Fire.

As of press time Wednesday, the King Fire has grown to 92,960 acres and was 38 percent contained.

Strong winds and a red flag warning in the Sierras could mean trouble for firefighters as they fight to gain the upper hand on the blaze.

- Source:

Air Canada grapples with 'explicit' material in cockpit • Airline memos order staff to stop leaving “explicit, illicit” material in aircraft

CBC is not responsible for 3rd party content

Do you have more information related to this story? Contact and/or

CBC News has obtained an internal Air Canada bulletin warning flight crews they could be fired or face criminal charges for placing “inappropriate material” in the flight deck, also called the cockpit.

It was sent last year, four months after a similar reminder to stop hiding “suggestive images in Company aircraft” appears to have been ignored.

“I am disappointed to have to raise this issue once again but unfortunately we have some people that have yet to understand the message,” writes Rod Graham, Air Canada’s chief pilot and director of fleet operations and training. 

 The warnings come six years after a female pilot says she started finding pornography displayed, glued and tucked in a variety of areas in the cockpit on Air Canada’s Embraer fleet of planes. 

Air Canada investigated her complaint and found “evidence of racial or ethnic prejudice as well as sexual materials in the work place,” according to documents obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request.

The pilot provided Transport Canada inspectors with photos and video of the sexually explicit, and at times violent, images she says she found. 

“Someone has drawn a knife in the back of the girl on the right hand side,” she writes in one email. 

 “The fact that porn IS still present and… very much on the minds of the individuals that fly the EMJ [Embraer planes], should ring alarm bells for your department as much as it does for me,” she writes in an email dated Aug. 3, 2013.

 ‘Things can go wrong’ 

The head of the association that represents civil service pilots says offensive material has no place in the flight deck. 

“You have to pay attention to what you're doing in an aircraft at all times. 

And reading inappropriate material is a complete distraction, and things can go wrong,” says Daniel Slunder, president of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association. 

Transport Canada told CBC News that its investigation found that Air Canada did not violate aviation safety, and that Transport Canada is not responsible for “regulating reading material in the flight deck.” 

However, notes in a Transport Canada log dated Aug. 19, 2013 show an inspector with the regulatory agency tried to get Air Canada to take the problem more seriously.

“Pilots are stuffing paper material inside compartments where electrical wiring is and that this is a hazard not to mention that this is a form of workplace violence,” writes Mary Pollock, an aviation health and safety occupational officer.

CBC News asked Air Canada if it had identified who was placing inappropriate material in the flight deck, but did not receive a response to this particular question.

“The material in question consisted almost entirely of inappropriate business cards and was confined mainly to one aircraft type and route, our Embraer E-90s operating to Las Vegas,” writes Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick in an email to CBC News.

The airline says it wasted no time when it learned of the problem, taking corrective action through pilot training.

However, Air Canada did say that more explicit material was found as recently as February of this year.

Do you have more information related to this story? Contact and/or

Story, Video and Comments:

CBC is not responsible for 3rd party content

Longer runway still up in the air for McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ), Carlsbad, California

CARLSBAD— The Palomar Airport Advisory Committee met on Sept. 18 to receive a progress report on the airport’s Master Plan update.

The current Master Plan is set to expire this year and was drafted in 1997. The new plan will create the blueprint for the airport for the next 20 years, said Lee Ann Lardy, project manager for the County of San Diego.

Whether or not the runway will be extended is still undecided.

“The county is not committed to any particular result and at this point can’t predict what will ultimately be approved, whether it’ll be a runway extension or not,” said Lardy.

Any updates to the Master Plan will not guarantee results. Instead, it paves the way for the possibility, said Peter Drinkwater, director of airports for the county of San Diego. Each particular project will still need additional approval and funding.

In a feasibility study published by the county, officials estimated a $163.2 million increase to the local economy over the next 20 years if airport improvements, including a runway extension, are approved.

The cost estimate of the proposed expansion varied from $22.5 to $69.7 million, depending on how far the runway would be extended.

Olivier Brackett, airport manager at Palomar Airport said the most cost effective runway extension would be 900 feet since a 200 feet extension doesn’t make much of a difference and a 1,200 feet extension is too expensive for the benefits.

The sizes of the planes using the airport wouldn’t change but they’d be able to carry more fuel, which means they could travel farther, said Drinkwater.

“The airport isn’t striving to become Lindbergh Field, it’s not striving to become John Wayne, it’s striving to become the best airport it can be within the footprint of what we have for space and to serve the communities in North County,” said Drinkwater.

Planes would be able to take off sooner, which would mean quieter takeoffs and landings.

The airport serves 50,000 passengers a year, according to Brackett.

Currently, the county is creating alternative plans, which take into account Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety standards, community concerns and interests of the airline companies that operate out of the airport.

“It’s very complex and it is taking a little bit longer than our schedule had originally anticipated,” Lardy said of the alternative development plans.

The county is midway through finishing the development process and is following FAA regulation guides to be eligible to receive federal funding. Once that is complete, the county will seek approval from the state.

State approval will hinge on regulations set forth by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

As part of the process, the county has taken steps to engage the community.

Public workshops have been held and the next one is set for an unspecified date in November. Lardy also encourages community members to sign up to receive email updates and direct mailers.

After the Master Plan gets environmental approval from the state, it will go in front of the County Board of Supervisors for approval, likely in summer 2016.

The Master Plan deals with the airport as a whole but each proposed project would need to get additional CEQA approval on a project-by-project basis, which could be years down the line, said Drinkwater.

The public will have a chance to speak during each step of the Master Plan Update and when particular projects go in front of the board.

 - Source:

Town council renews hangar lease with Cape Air: Massena International Airport (KMSS), New York

MASSENA –– Members of the town council voted last week to renew a hangar lease with Cape Air for the next seven months.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he was hoping that the airport’s new T-hangar would be completed by now, but without the new hangar he suggested signing another short-term lease with the airline.

“We had hoped to have the T-hangar ready, which would have been heated,” Gray said, adding once Cape Air is able to move into the new hangar it would be wise for the town to increase the company’s rent.

“That would have allowed us to increase their rent a little bit,” he said.

Without completion of the new hangar, Councilman Albert N. Nicola suggested keeping the rent the same, $1,000 per month.

Gray said the new hangar should be complete by the time the latest lease agreement expires. Until then the airline will continue to use an unheated hangar.

“They’re going to be back in the that hangar with no door,” Gray said.

The new hangar, which will be used by Cape Air, is one of 10 that will be built at the airport, giving Massena the capacity to hold 20 planes once the new hangars are finished.

Two of the bays will be large enough for commercial use, built with Cape Air and the New York Power Authority in mind. The remaining eight hangar bays will be available for rent.

At previous meetings, Frank Diagostino, who serves as both airport manager and the town’s highway superintendent, said he frequently field phone calls from people looking to rent hangar space.

- Source:

Air France-KLM Scraps European Expansion Plan: Franco-Dutch Airline Bows to Pilots' Demands in Bid to End Crippling Strike

The Wall Street Journal
By Inti Landauro
Sept. 25, 2014 3:08 a.m. ET

PARIS—Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM confirmed it has shelved plans to expand its Transavia low-cost airline across Europe in a bid to halt a crippling pilots' strike at its French arm that has cost the company millions of euros.

Pilots walked out on Sept. 15 to oppose the project and demanded that all the group's pilots be given the same working conditions and benefits as those at its French arm. They feared the company would use Transavia to replace France-based pilots with those in countries where salaries are lower.

After a 10-day strike that has cost the company up to €20 million ($25.6 million) a day, Air France-KLM said late Wednesday that instead of creating Transavia offshoots in other European countries it will now only expand the airline in France.

The company called on pilots to return to work immediately.

"This balanced proposal answers the labor unions' concerns by bringing a renewed guarantee there won't be any relocation," the statement said late Wednesday.

The strike has hammered Air France's already precarious finances and threatened restructuring plans aimed at turning around the loss-making airline. Despite repeated calls by the airline's management and government officials to end the strike, the main pilots' unions extended it beyond the originally planned one-week protest.

During the first week, Air France-KLM Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac refused to shift his position. Then on Monday he proposed freezing the Transavia expansion plan for three months while pursuing talks with pilots. Presenting the concession package as an "ultimate" step, Mr. de Juniac also proposed fast-tracking the development of Transavia-France, increasing its fleet to 37 planes from 14.

Mr. de Juniac said Monday that the company needed to secure slots and order planes by the end of the year to allow a quick start for Transavia Europe. The pilots rejected the Monday offer and demanded that Transavia Europe be shelved.

The SNPL-Air France union described the Monday offer as the "ultimate provocation." Its president Jean-Louis Barber called on the government to intervene. The state owns 15.9% of the company.

Early Wednesday, French transport minister Alain Vidalies, anticipated the ending of the Transavia Europe project during a radio interview.

Union officials weren't immediately available to comment.

- Source: